Can you clarify if Administrators can write on casenotes in Fixed Fee files and claim time. I was lead to believe it is down to the caseworker who had opened the file. Would the file be nil assessed if audited.
In my opinion it is the nature of the work that matters and not the person who undertakes it.
The LSC's Costs Assessment Guidance states: 2.1 Subject to any express exceptions, payment will not be made for time spent on purely administrative matters. This will include the costs of opening and setting up files, maintaining time costing records and other time spent in complying with the requirements of the 2010 Contract and 2012 Contract other than the direct provision of legal services to a Client.
So using your example of calling the client:
If the caseworker calls the client in order to remind them that they have an appointment = non-chargeable
If the admin worker calls the client in order to obtain information which is necessary for progressing the case = chargeable
In relation to your first post, I cannot see how a file could be nil assessed just because some work was deemed administrative rather than chargeable (especially a fixed fee case). Items of work could be disallowed, but this is more relevant to hourly rates matters.
Unless things have changed, though, the LSC always wanted to know the names of caseworkers within the organisation and, I think, they were only willing to count as chargeable time work done by those named caseworkers.
Whether they would check is another thing, although I remember at least one of our contract managers/relationship managers being careful to know who was a caseworker. I think you are on slightly dodgy ground claiming for it, unless the admin worker is also nominated as a caseworker.
If it's a fixed fee case I can't see how it would be nil assessed on these grounds, assuming the case was being tackled by the case worker. It doesn't matter financially to the LSC if an admin worker rang up the client as it's a fixed fee in any case. I guess if it was an exceptional case then an item like that could be disallowed in a claim, but who knows?
Post by Patrick Torsney on May 21, 2012 7:20:13 GMT
There are lots of different queries going on in this thread, I'll try go through them later today
In the meantime, and in answer to who can perform contract work, you need to see Specification 2.29 (my emphasis):
A Supervisor must ensure that all persons performing Contract Work pursuant to this Contract, have a professional legal qualification (as described in Guidance) or, where a professional legal qualification is not required in respect of Contract Work, such persons must perform a minimum of 12 hours’ work each week in the relevant Category of Law.
The guidance mentioned is set out in the SQM, at D5.2
At the start of this thread the question was raised ( as I understood it) whether a case would be nil assessed if an admin worker telephoned a client to remind them of an appointment. The answer is surely no- but you can't claim for that either? (If it is a fixed fee you won't be claiming it in bits of work anyway). We routinely phone ( and text) clients to remind them of their appointments in order to ensure attendance, but we have never charged the CLS for this.